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Baby bonus has had little impact so far

One positive trend is the rise in the number of first-time parents. -ST

Sat, Aug 15, 2009
The Straits Times

By Radha Basu, Senior Correspondent

A RECORD $230 million was given out by the Government in baby bonus payments last year, up from $55 million just five years earlier.

But there was no corresponding increase in the number of Singaporean babies born.

Figures from the National Population Secretariat show there were only 32,423 citizens born last year.

So is the baby bonus scheme working?

WHEN asked whether the Baby Bonus Scheme was working, given that the rise in numbers of foreigners having babies outstripped local births, here is what a spokesman from the Ministry of Community Development Youth and Sports had to say:

'Time is needed to assess the efficacy of the Marriage and Parenthood package. MCYS acknowledges that parenthood is a highly personal decision and will be based on numerous factors specific to the individual. The Government seeks to provide a pro-family environment and help couples in the decision process through a package of measures that provides financial support, leave benefits and care services.

'The Baby Bonus is one of the measures to help defray the cost of having children. While the impact may appear limited, we will continue to provide such benefits as Government is committed to help Singaporeans form families.